Comments on: Fightin’ words: Philodemic Society http://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/ Georgetown's Weekly Newsmagazine Since 1969 Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:34:07 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 By: Stephen Vergeshttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-97147 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 14:29:44 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-97147 “I also witnessed a remarkable diversification of the Philodemic over the course of my undergraduate years. Debates my freshman year tended to draw less than 20 close friends who at first glance appeared quite similar. By my senior year, however, it was normal for over 40 people of numerous ideological, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds to show up on Thursday nights.

To those who level at the Philodemic the charges of homogeneity and exclusivity, all I have to say is this: come and see for yourselves! Either you will be pleasantly surprised, or you will discover that it is within your power to change the situation.”

Where was this? I want to ask you where this was because last time I checked Georgetown University doesn’t give scholarships to anyone from Washington DC Public Schools fitting the bill of those who are socio-economically challenged and of numerous racial backgrounds. Is a single African American vying with a bunch of meretricious white kids amount to numerous roll calls of diversity, and if so by your standards of valid scholarly effrontery is it fair to ask, “Why are you so out of touch with the reality which one can read on the stats of Georgetown’s yearly graduation books, are you claiming you have a diverse crowd when in NW – NE – SW – SE, Georgetown in repetitive tedium offers no scholarships to DC Public School students?”; here is a philodemic subject: argue if Georgetown University should offer student housing back to the black families who were squeezed out of their homes so non-black students could get local dorms since Georgetown is so diverse and thoughtful.

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By: Drew Petersonhttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-34005 Sat, 23 Apr 2011 03:58:27 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-34005 First of all, this feature captures the essence of the Philodemic better than any other campus media piece I’ve read in the past five years. Current members of the Society should be proud to be portrayed in our university community by such excellent work.

Moreover, during the three years that I was fortunate enough to spend with the Philodemic Society, I befriended some of the most inquisitive, talented, and vivacious members of the Georgetown intelligentsia (this is how the word is spelled) of the time. Though I’ve been gone from Georgetown nearly a year, I suspect that the Philodemic Society remains a lively forum for the exchange of ideas and the practice of rhetoric. Though the Society has its quirks and flaws (as do all organizations), it remains an asset to the University.

I also witnessed a remarkable diversification of the Philodemic over the course of my undergraduate years. Debates my freshman year tended to draw less than 20 close friends who at first glance appeared quite similar. By my senior year, however, it was normal for over 40 people of numerous ideological, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds to show up on Thursday nights.

To those who level at the Philodemic the charges of homogeneity and exclusivity, all I have to say is this: come and see for yourselves! Either you will be pleasantly surprised, or you will discover that it is within your power to change the situation.

Fondly,

Drew Peterson
Class of 2010

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By: Steve Vergeshttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33630 Sun, 20 Mar 2011 16:27:48 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33630 “Until then”

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By: Steve Vergeshttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33628 Sun, 20 Mar 2011 16:20:00 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33628 I agree with a few things here other than the egocentric gibberish that has a place though not to critique this … “society”. This is perhaps an oxymoron because a society must reflect on a society and not just sophistry of grammar and rhetoric. A society must reflect on logic and if the intellegenica of Georgetown actually had the time to engage with this “society”, natural ability alone could prevail in a debate with one or all of these members by that member of Georgetown intellegencia staying home and just sleeping.

I am a member, she’s a member, he’s a member, I am a president, I am a Marxist – it sounds like “I’m a pepper, your a pepper, she’s a pepper, he’s a pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too, be a Pepper drink Dr Pepper”. Since the self exalting importance of being a pepper is of pure rhetoric and grammar, just as the pointless installation of who some of you say you are by a way that repulses and retards reality of any conventional/unconventional society outside of Georgetown.

There is way too much hype for this society, from a historical prespective you could say death valley was surveyed, named and set on a map by some cowboy, death valley by this fashion was founded in the 19th century perhaps just as the Philodemic society was.

A survival cyclist might live up to his name of being a Death Valley champ, Death Valley might live up to it’s terrain feature name, the Philodemic Society as an empty room lives up to it’s name with all the wonderful history an antiquated room has to offer, though what my student colleagues express is poor in critique there is a nucleus of truth that actually has them well grounded.

With the arguments settled … I really think, well if I said what I think I would be in a lot of trouble.

So let’s test the brilliance of the society and on every Saturday evening have them debate non society members at a bigger forum.

Until them do keep writing about yourselves and pale activities … comedy central is always looking for writers.

Steve Verges

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By: Nick Iaconohttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33470 Sat, 26 Feb 2011 01:27:56 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33470 To the first comment in this thread:

My name is Nick Iacono and I’m very proud to say that I am the President of the Philodemic Society, and I would like to first thank Matt for this very well written article, it really meant a lot to our members.

To this idea that the Society “seems to epitomize privilege within Georgetown”. Comments like that are always very funny for me to hear. I’ve never been to Connecticut and I doubt I’d fall into the “privileged” category. I was born and raised in a modest neighborhood on Staten Island, NY in an attached town house not all that much bigger than the Henle I live in right now. It’s a place that brings to mind Jersey Shore wannabees than it does the prep school upper crust that I think you’re likening us to. My mother worked as a bookkeeper for a local business every day of her life to put me through Catholic school even after suffering a stroke at age 40 that left her with longterm side effects and a 10 year old boy to raise by herself. I love this school and can honestly say that I’m able to attend it without being able to pay for a single semester on my own. My tuition is paid almost entirely by grants and financial aid.

My intention wasn’t to soapbox with some sob story about how poor I am, but the vast majority of Philodemic members don’t fit the stereotypical box you’ve created for us. Your comment, like so many others like it that I’ve seen and heard reveal one thing and one thing only. You know nothing about us, nothing about what we value, and nothing about what we do.

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By: Sidewallhttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33392 Mon, 21 Feb 2011 16:32:04 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33392 Dear Excuse Me,

There is a word for what you are doing: stereotyping.

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By: The Dudehttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33385 Sun, 20 Feb 2011 01:41:43 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33385 hey man, you philodem people don’t have to convince everyone that what you do is worthy, man. i know the people reading this and want to respond in comments are in the society, and that’s cool man. but you don’t have to convince people of anything man.

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By: Alcibiadeshttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33384 Sat, 19 Feb 2011 23:02:13 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33384 The whole idea of diversity as a virtue implies an epistemological belief that local knowledge or, its proxy, identity is a more efficient and just path to knowledge than reason alone.

Sometimes I think that’s true, but when I don’t it’s difficult for me to use identity-arguments because I think they’re tacky. But hey, Excuse Me, I’ll respond to your criticism using your own value system because I think I’ll best make my point to you that way.

I’m a poor Marxist from the West Coast who almost went to screenwriting school (I’m sure you think Philodemic is artless too), and I go to Philodemic every week. If a hand-me-down blazer is the entrance fee to Georgetown’s most consistently engaging and intellectually stimulating organization on campus, count me as not snob enough to look down on the dress code, or the formalities.

You should come. We’re gonna have a good month.

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By: James Ungerhttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33378 Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:43:03 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33378 Dear Excuse Me,
I’m not sure if you go/went to Georgetown or have ever been to a Philodemic meeting but your comments definitely do not reflect my experience. I met incredible people from all over the world and different socio-economic backgrounds both at Georgetown and in the Philodemic. Though the Philodemic’s traditions may seem stuffy to you and do attract a certain crowd, those of us who have participated in it in recent years have worked hard, and I think successfully, to make it a more diverse place. As a member of the Philodemic I learned a great deal, had a lot of fun and made a pretty diverse group of – what I hope will be – lifelong friends. Those same opportunities are available to anyone who wishes to join. The main reason I felt compelled to respond to your comments are that I don’t want any current students to feel like the Philodemic isn’t open to them if its something they are interested in. I don’t want to get into an internet debate so instead I’d invite you to stop by a meeting, see what its like and actually meet some members (I wont be there since I’ve graduated but I’m sure they won’t mind). If its relevant to the debate you might even express your opinion from the floor (it would hardly be the first time the Philodemic itself has been criticized at a Philodemic debate).

Best,
James Unger
Class of 2008

PS I transferred to Georgetown from a Community College in California and the only time I’ve ever been to Connecticut was a stop at a gas station on a Chinatown bus from New York City to Boston…so we aren’t all from Connecticut.

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By: Matthew Deckerhttp://georgetownvoice.com/2011/02/17/fightin-words-philodemic-society/#comment-33375 Thu, 17 Feb 2011 21:39:45 +0000 http://georgetownvoice.com/?p=17578#comment-33375 To be fair, I think the article makes it pretty clear that they were referring to a diversity of opinions and viewpoints, not necessarily the diversity of the members of the Society.

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